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  • [Rachel McAdams] The pay gap between men and women around the world

  • looks a little different depending on how you measure it.

  • In Poland, women earn 91 cents for every dollar a man does.

  • In Israel, it's 81 cents.

  • In South Korea, women make just 65 cents on the dollar.

  • We know that just freeing the potential of women,

  • that is the fastest multiplier that we have in terms of our growth.

  • That is such an accelerator in eradicating poverty.

  • When you go to the store, you don't get a woman's discount.

  • You have to pay the same as everybody else.

  • So that comes out of your family income.

  • [McAdams] When someone mentions the pay gap,

  • you often hear another phrase as well.

  • -Equal pay... -...for equal work.

  • -Equal pay... -...for equal work.

  • [McAdams] It makes it sound like women are paid less

  • for doing the same job as men,

  • which means women are paid less just for being women.

  • There's a word for that, discrimination.

  • But a huge body of research from many countries shows

  • that overt pay discrimination only potentially explains

  • a small part of the gender pay gap.

  • It's a real number, but it really, actually tells you almost nothing

  • about the real disparity between men and women.

  • Women aren't looking for a leg up. They want equal opportunity

  • and equal pay. Big difference.

  • If you want to change culture, you can't sit down and wait.

  • You must do something about it.

  • [McAdams] So, if it's not all about discrimination,

  • why are women around the world paid so much less than men?

  • [man] The woman who works at a career has chosen to ignore that the woman's place...

  • It doesn't matter if you have a female or male body,

  • they should be paid accordingly.

  • [man] I see some really advanced clerical work.

  • Pays women 80 cents for every dollar it pays men.

  • [woman] This is our time to stand up to have our voices heard.

  • And women will lead this country.

  • That's what this is all about.

  • [McAdams] The story in the United States is similar to a lot of countries.

  • It wasn't very long ago that most women, especially white women,

  • didn't work outside the home at all.

  • When you go back to the 1950s,

  • there weren't very many women in the workforce.

  • The women there were were often not as well educated as the men.

  • They either didn't finish college,

  • or they didn't have the same credentials in college,

  • or hadn't gone to college at all.

  • Most of the women in my neighborhood did not work.

  • My mother did not work.

  • The only women that I saw in professional roles were teachers.

  • [McAdams] Most women didn't get that far.

  • Seventy percent had menial jobs on factory assembly lines or in offices.

  • [man] Women workers don't mind routine, repetitive work,

  • and they're good on work that requires high finger dexterity.

  • [McAdams] People understood that a woman might need to earn a little money,

  • but a career? That was for men.

  • Your high score on the clerical aptitude test

  • indicates that you can become a good secretary.

  • [McAdams] Discrimination was also totally legal,

  • allowing employers to put out job listings for men only.

  • When I was growing up,

  • I knew one woman lawyer. One.

  • I never met a woman doctor.

  • I couldn't have even imagined women engineers.

  • [McAdams] The pay gap hovered around 60 cents on the dollar.

  • It was caused by several interconnected factors,

  • like lower female education rates,

  • women not being in the workforce in big numbers,

  • grouping in traditionally feminine industries,

  • and the fact that it was perfectly legal to pay women less,

  • and then a slew of cultural norms about gender roles and aptitudes.

  • These were the major explanations for the pay gap.

  • And then, in just a few decades, things changed.

  • Sisterhood is powerful! Join us now!

  • [man] The battle cry of the women's liberation movement

  • rings out down New York's Fifth Avenue.

  • [man] First woman to receive the highest honor of the National...

  • [man] The House broke into spontaneous applause.

  • Benazir Bhutto, the new prime minister.

  • [man] This is the first American woman in space.

  • [applause]

  • [man] First woman nominated to the Supreme Court.

  • [man] First woman ever to run on a Presidential ticket.

  • My candidacy has said to women, "The doors of opportunity are open."

  • Women are out-earning men in college degrees and advanced degrees.

  • [woman] Women are engaged to bring the next generation.

  • For the first time in history,

  • women are actually outnumbering men in the workplace.

  • This was just a sea change

  • to see women competing for scholarships I couldn't have competed for,

  • going to schools that were not open to women,

  • taking on jobs that were closed to women.

  • That's changed... just... unbelievably.

  • [McAdams] Many of the factors that were causing the pay gap shrunk,

  • except for one.

  • [Anne-Marie Slaughter] But what has stayed is that women bear children.

  • They are assumed to be the primary caregiver.

  • [McAdams] Even as women became doctors, and lawyers, and heads of state,

  • the popular expectation remained in society

  • that they would still do most of the work of raising children.

  • In the United States, in the UK,

  • even in progressive Scandinavian countries,

  • surveys today show only a fraction of the population

  • thinks women should work full-time when they have young kids.

  • When it comes to men, the expectation flips.

  • Seventy percent of Americans think that new fathers should work full-time.

  • There still is a considerable percentage of people,

  • not just in our country, but around the world, who really think

  • once you're a mom, you shouldn't be in the workplace.

  • And that's been proven wrong, short-sighted over and over again.

  • I learned, after I went back, when my time was constrained,

  • not by my employer, but by me,

  • because I wanted to get home to that baby and spend time with her,

  • that I could actually get a lot of work done in 15 minutes.

  • Like, I would take any opportunity to work.

  • I've become, I think, a much better employee since I've had children.

  • [McAdams] Even when a mother does work full-time just like her male partner,

  • she spends nine hours a week more than him on childcare and housework.

  • Over a year, that's the equivalent

  • of an extra three months of a full-time job.

  • This is the heart of the pay gap,

  • and to understand why, it helps to follow the story

  • of a young couple just starting out on their careers.

  • I often think about the trajectories

  • of the many law students I taught.

  • They look exactly the same.

  • They have the same educational record, the same experience.

  • And then you watch what starts to happen

  • as they hit their late 20s, early 30s, childbearing years,

  • and they start thinking about having children.

  • If they have children, at that point, somebody has to be home.

  • You can have lots of childcare,

  • but a parent needs to be at home for those situations that needs a parent.

  • So he's likely to get promoted.

  • She, on the other hand, has had to turn down some of those assignments,

  • say no to some of that travel.

  • So eight years out, ten years out,

  • typically, he's then a partner, and he can do lots of things from there.

  • She hasn't made partner. She's not earning the same.

  • She's working flexibly, or even part-time,

  • and from there, her earning potential and his just keep diverging.

  • [McAdams] This is the story the data tells us in study after study

  • in a variety of different countries.

  • One Danish study did an especially good job

  • of showing how childbirth affects earnings.

  • [McAdams] Here's a man's pay trajectory.

  • Watch what happens when his child is born.

  • Here's the woman's trajectory.

  • So then if you compare the earnings of a woman with kids

  • to a woman without kids,

  • you can see that the pay gap isn't as much about being a woman

  • as it is about being a mom.

  • The gender gap really is between women with children and everybody else.

  • Women who are not caregivers earn 96% of every dollar.

  • It's a motherhood penalty.

  • [McAdams] Some mothers don't see this as a problem.

  • They want to spend more time with their children.

  • They don't mind if it means making less.

  • Some women make a job choice based on the fact they want to have families.

  • Nothing wrong with that.

  • Presenting it as, you know, a penalty is kind of denying

  • first, that women make that choice,

  • but also that there's some extreme value...

  • not just for the children, the family, but also for the women making that choice.

  • A pay gap based on choices, you know, is different

  • than a pay gap that's just because you're a woman,

  • and you just can't get equal pay for doing the same thing a guy does.

  • [McAdams] But often, women and men don't get the same choices.

  • In the US, there are three times as many single moms as single dads.

  • And growing up, most of us get the message

  • that caregiving is more of